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A young member moving forward in his life by overcoming stuttering…

Inspirational Callum Wells is working really hard on his speech. Read below and rewards he is getting from working on his stutter.

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Inspirational Callum Wells
Inspirational Callum Wells

Since joining the McGuire Programme, in March 2018 and attending a refresher course in Harrogate, my confidence in my speech has only been increasing to the point where I asked my school if I could speak at the leavers’ assembly. As a covert stutterer, I was very nervous about the reaction and due to having two 5-hour GCSEs the days before, I didn’t have the chance to tell anybody what I had planned.

Once I started speaking, I overcame my nerves and felt so proud that I had inspired people during National Stuttering Awareness Week. I informed the audience that stuttering is more common than they think and used statistics to emphasise that there should be roughly 10 in our school. I also told them to remember the McGuire Programme if they know anybody with a stutter. I felt that it really helped when I made reference to the celebrities that stutter and I saw some surprised faces.

A teacher emailed me to say that it was a wonderful speech and, “so many members of the tutor group said how brilliant it was”. This is a great example that people surprise you with their reactions in a positive way. After hearing me tell my peers that, before joining the programme, my Maths teacher laughed at me when I couldn’t say my name in front of my whole class; the school asked me if I would like to make a presentation to all of the teachers about stuttering as part of their teacher training, which is the next challenge that I look forward to!

Every day, my McGuire Programme coaches prepared me for the assembly over the phone. I called them both the evening before and practised my speech while one cried – I felt so honoured that I have such dedicated coaches, especially when she posted the video on her Instagram page. I was delighted when another coach called me on the morning of the speech to motivate me and I really appreciate it. The support from all of the coaches that I regularly speak to has been tremendous.